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2 year old sleep issues please help!

(3 Posts)
medievaljacqui Sat 19-Jul-14 16:53:30

Hi all
My 2.4 year old ds has always been a fairly good sleeper excepting teething and colds etc so this has come as a shock.
About 3 weeks ago we had a hospital stay due to a 'wheezy' episode. This was quite scary as he needed several nebulisers etc. I slept with him in the hospital bed and for the week after he came home he slept in my bed too. His dad slept in the spare room as ds is a very wriggly sleeper and there wasn't room for three in the bed! The reason he slept with me is that he woke in the night wheezy and breathless so needed his emergency inhaler (doctor wouldn't prescribe a preventer initially, which I can understand after only one example of asthma type symptoms) he was then too scared to sleep on his own. I totally understand this. The only problem is I hardly slept when he was in with me and survived just over a week with an average of two hours sleep a night and an intense full time teaching job. We tried him sleeping with his dd and he refused it was just easier and quicker for all of us for him to sleep with me. Not to do my dp a disservice because he's the main carer and normally much better at settling ds than I am. In fact ds usually wants daddy when he is ill etc. this time, however, our ds got more sleep and settled quicker with me.
So that was all very tiring. The doctor has now prescribe ds a preventer inhaler as his wheezing had not cleared up so we were hoping the sleep would go back to normal, but it hasn't. I was expected an unsettled period of transition, but if anything he's got worse. Except this time he won't settle anywhere but on our knees. Tried him in bed with me and no chance, he just wanted to play. Tried him with dad and the same. Tried pick up put down, he just skips straight to ear splitting shrieking. I can't cope with this. It's now leaked into his nap time and I'm seriously starting to dread the summer holidays sad I've been looking forward to this time with him so much. We have a brilliant relationship and on an average week I only see him for 2 hours a night Tuesday - Friday and the weekends. I appreciate that he is experiencing some separation anxiety and if he would sleep with me again I. Could ride it out, but he won't.
Other than the sleep he's his usual chirpy self, no eating issues or any other illness that we can tell.
Do any of you have any advise? I've not long been of anti-ds for PND and suffer from anxiety and OCD and I can feel this taking hold again.
Sorry for the long post and thanks for listening.

titabeth Sat 19-Jul-14 17:27:32

Hi there, I can see you've got some problems there. I am an asthmatic, and even as an adult it is one of the most frightening things one can experience. I am sorry for what you're going through, you, your DS and your DH/DP. If your son's asthma is well controlled now, he probably is still scared it will happen again, and believes his darling mum can prevent this. As an asthmatic child I learnt by the time I was 7 that you have to keep calm. I am not an expert but it seems you are finding it hard to calm him as he is only 2.

Some practical things raise the upper part of his mattress, so his upper body is a few inches higher than his lower body. This has always helped me with breathing. don't force him to lie down if he's wheezy. Get some steam in his room. Use music to calm him, perhaps sing to him? Gently rub his back, I'm sure you've already done all these things. I have an air filter, which works well, it's impossible to identify all my allergens and avoid them, but the air filter cleans the air and makes my room allergen free. Also steam cleaners kill off many allergens, this should help to keep his attacks to a minimum. Keep calm yourself, do your own breathing calming exercises. Fake it if you have to, try not to let him see you're worried. You've got the summer hols to make a plan. Maybe get help from health visitor, but take whatever anybody says with a pinch of salt if it doesn't make sense to you. If things haven't improved by the time you return to work in the autumn, let your boss know you're not getting enough sleep and the reason why. Loss of sleep can play havoc with your health, as you know.

Good luck, I hope you manage to solve this problem soon. Can your mum help you?

titabeth Sat 19-Jul-14 17:37:41

Actually sometimes asthma medication can make one wakeful. You could try keep taking him back to his room and staying with him for a short while. Then gradually going a bit further away, over a period of say 2 weeks. Oh no it seems too cruel, you have to check for wheeziness and if he's not wheezy, take him quietly but firmly back to his room. don't play with him, if he shrieks I guess you're scared he'll have an attack. I think you need more professional advice.

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